This is a hypothetical scenario, but one that I feel I need to know.

I've recently finished my BSc in Computer Science, and gotten an entry-level software developer position at a respectable, international firm.

Let's say that in two years, my salary has gone up since I started, but I feel the need to quit. I'm not yet suited for any higher-level positions such as senior developer or project leader. However, I would not be keen on recieving a lower salary than what I had worked to achieve.

How should I take this up with a prospective new employer? How would he react to me not being experienced enough for a higher-level position, but still wanting equal or higher salary than what I had in the previous firm?

Would it be fair of me to expect another entry-level position, but with a higher salary than other applicants, given my superior experience?

  • 3
    Read this: workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/19589/… Fair isn't a word that you should be concerned with.
    – NotMe
    Nov 20, 2014 at 20:04
  • What country are you in?
    – PM 77-1
    Nov 20, 2014 at 20:08
  • @PM77-1 - Norway.
    – Alec
    Nov 21, 2014 at 6:52
  • Most/many times you apply for positions elsewhere you are applying for the same position you have for similar pay. This is hardly unusual.
    – pi31415
    Nov 21, 2014 at 11:01

4 Answers 4


I actually had this situation happen to me. I got a job right out of university, but lost it after a year and a half at the company b/c of lack of work coming in. I ended up taking a job below my previous salary.

At the end of the day, you can say how much you expect salary wise but the company will offer you what they wish to pay you. You might have some negotiation room, but you'll have to make the choice on if you'll take the job or not. Is it fair to expect getting paid more for your experience, yes. Is it fair for the company to low ball you, no. Will it happen anyway, probably.

But, there is more to a job than it's salary. I took my next job at a lower salary, but loved it more than my previous job. The hours were better, the work was more interesting, and the people I worked with were awesome. And when it was time to negotiate my raise, I was able to get right back up to where I had been at my previous company.

So, I feel you should just wait and cross that bridge if you ever get to it. You don't know what you're needs will be 2 years from now, or what the job market will look like.


You might still be a junior developer, but you already have 2 years of experience, thus you'll be more productive than a college grad and thus deserve money. Most companies want someone with at least some experience so the new person is less of a drag to the more senior people. The fact that you kept your job for 2 years shows that you are reliable and at least somewhat proficient at what you do. Companies like that, it tells them they are not going to waste time trying to train you and ending up firing you.

I jumped jobs after 2.5 years with my first company after college and got paid significantly more at my new job.


It doesn't matter what you earned before.

Pay is not about fairness to the employer, or somehow universal. Pay is how much a company needs to pay you to get and retain your services.

If you find a new job after 2 years, great. During the hiring process you will negotiate salary with the new employer; if they don't offer enough, you won't take up their offer. It is unimportant what your salary is before, unless that is your entire personal rationale for changing jobs. The new job could be further away, have longer hours, be less flexible, and you will negotiate on the basis of what you will accept.

There is no way to convince an employer to pay you more because of a salary you once got but have since quit. That doesn't matter to them. What matters is how much they need to offer you for you to accept.


After 2-3 years of working as a Junior Developer, you should really be looking to drop the Junior from your title. Junior implies that you need someone else to set your tasks for you, that you are still grappling with the basics, and a whole bunch of other things. I would hope that you will have progressed beyond this and can work a lot more independently after 2-3 years.

Either your current employer will recognise your work and effort, and give you a promotion to Developer (with commensurate salary increase) or you go and find a Developer position somewhere else that is looking for someone with 2-3 years experience.

This is basic career progression for developers. So why would you think about looking for an "entry-level" position again after 2 years of learning the job?

  • 1
    Perhaps he believes his 2 years of experience is not actually 2 years of experience, due to little work or non-challenging work. Nov 21, 2014 at 9:24
  • So why wait 2 years to get nowhere?
    – HorusKol
    Nov 22, 2014 at 2:12

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